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This is our new look! shamelessly borrowed from Araneae, I will be moving all the gerbilator content soon.

HTML/Web tools - some observations

Over the last few years, I have had a passing aquaintance with quite a few Web page generating tools from NotePad and Pico upwards. At my daytime work, we are constrained by a corporate policy of using only Microsoft's FrontPage 98. If you are working in an NT 4 environment, it will produce plain but adequate web sites. Its major failing is in editing imported external code unbidden, which can break other scripting, ASP pages seemed to dislike this!! The next version, FrontPage 2000, fixed that and several other problems. I understand that there are even newer versions of FrontPage about including more .Net integration..

Macromedia's DreamWeaver and UltraDev products while very big in the market, are not covered here, as I haven't ever had a chance to play with non-demo versions. In the corporate world, there are good reasons to use tools that fit into the corporate application suite (Lotus Domino with Notes) or as document management systems (Harvest Road's HIVE) for smaller and non-corporate sites, there are a plethora of HTML editors, commercial, shareware and free including OpenSource. In fact, the new OpenOffice.org Office suite includes Writer/HTML for doing web pages as just another sort of document (and it produces reasonable HTML, compared to MS Word 97!)

This page was originally written with AceHTML 5 Pro from VisiComm Media (in Canada) It has lots of features, is shareware and updates are free. A nice feature (some other products have is the ability to call other tools for particular jobs such as CSS editing e.g. TopStyle (the nicest CSS editor I have come across). The mailing lists that you end up on as part of the registration process can be irritating, but some of the BraveNet email newsletters have handy HTML snippets for new HTML coders. Visicom Media are now also offering another french product for making button images for your web pages: Button Fly It seems to be OK, but the user interface is a bit XPish and idiosyncratic for me - I will probably get used to it.

Now, these pages have been recently edited with HTML-Kit from Chami.com (in Germany, I think) It has a lot of features, is free (but there is a more potent newer version you can buy), updates are free and it supports a plethora of plugins. A developer kit for many scripting and "real" programming languages is available. A nice feature. It can detect and use other web editing products such as CSS editing tools e.g. TopStyle (the best CSS editor I have used) which I have mentioned previously. I nedd to do a bit more with it to test the depths!

Araneae HTML Editor Plain, fast loading text editor, it is freeware, but the author calls for voluntary registrations (USD20) to fund on going work on the products. Its chief claim to fame , for me, is that it just works, and will edit just about anything!
Free Stuff!
Many of the tools are shareware, and reasonably priced, but if you are really on a tight budget, or working for charity or schools, there are many GPL licenced tools available for nothing!